Cremation is becoming more common. We also changed with the times. We installed a state-of-the-art crematory some years ago. We understand the trend. For some it is just a personal preference. For others, it cost less than a traditional burial and without the body present there is not the urgency to schedule services.
For those of you who feel cremation is the right choice but recognize the therapeutic value of having a traditional funeral with the body present, we can accommodate both your wishes. You can do both because we offer rental caskets (the interior is replaced in the casket after each rental). We also have wooden caskets that are specifically made to be burned along with the remains.
Grief counselors have always emphasized how important it is for survivors to view the body so that the healing process can begin. They have not changed their position; they still believe this to be true.
It seems to be inevitable, customs change. The funeral service is no exception. Technology and lifestyles have changed and that brought about changes in visitations and funerals. They have become more personal with the addition of photos, popular music and displays of memorabilia. Many families find funeral services more personal and less formal than in the past.
However, some customs are worth keeping. Having the body present at “end of life” ceremonies has been a custom for thousands of years for cultures all over the world. There is a reason for that.
We all know that a dead body is not the same as the person we loved. We know the soul no longer resides there. But when we are grieving the mind seeks proof. We see the body, we touch the body, we spend time with the body, and we cannot help but to begin the process of acknowledging the reality of death. We need that to begin the healing process.
According to my mother, my great grandfather was embalmed in his home and displayed in an open casket in the parlor. Family and friends kept a round-the-clock vigil over the dead body to safeguard the body, offer prayers, pay their respect, receive friends and comfort one another. In those days the body wasn’t just present; it was the focal point of the entire funeral process.
From the home, to the procession into the church to the procession out of the church to the procession to the cemetery through the committal service, the body never left the family’s sight or heart.
We seem to be forgetting what many have known since the beginning of time. Throughout human history, tribes and clans stayed with the body until it was laid to rest. Even today, we do everything possible to bring home fallen warriors to their families, to be laid to rest. It brings closure to the family. The grief process can begin.
Memorial Day will be here before you know it. When the day comes, many of you will regret not getting the monument you have been planning to get but just haven’t done yet. We know there are hard decisions to make. You want to get it just right—it is carved in stone!
We view a monument as a way of saying this particular person existed, was loved and made a difference. It is also a permanent way to record history for future generations. You can choose to have the date of marriage and the names of children inscribed. You can personalize a stone with a graphic design depicting life’s work or favorite pastime. What would you like for future generations to know about you?
We sell quality monuments and we custom pour each base on location, utilizing special stabilizing techniques. Our work is guaranteed. It is just as important to us as it is to you that the monuments we sell remain level and stable.
About this time every year, we publicly thank the Ottawa Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for making sure funeral processions make it safely through Ottawa and Franklin County.
Every time we have a funeral procession led by law enforcement, making sure intersections are safe, getting us to the cemetery without incident, showing the respect that they do, makes me glad I live where I do. Not all communities are lucky enough to have this public service. We shouldn’t take it for granted. They don’t have to provide this service. They do it out of respect for the citizens of this area.
Please remember though, emergency calls take precedence over funeral procession escorts and they are not always available. It happens every once in a while, when they have an emergency call that takes precedence. It makes one appreciate their service even more when an escort is unavailable.
I love this time of year. Never mind the mistakes and the missed opportunities. It is time to put all of that behind you. It’s a new ball game, time for a fresh start, a time to make new resolutions and set new goals. It is good for the soul to start with a clean slate.
But especially, it is time for new hope. No matter how well or how poorly the past year has gone, we all hope for a better future. But, let’s face it, hoping for something isn’t always enough. If you want a better world around you, you have to do something about it. A good relationship with friends and family takes work. If you give your best and expect the best, most of the time you won’t be disappointed. A community needs nurturing too. Maybe you can’t serve in an official capacity, but you can be the best citizen and neighbor you can be. You may be the one who benefits most of all.
May your hopes and dreams come true.
joy in your heart
and peace in your soul
as you celebrate this
All of us at Dengel & Son Mortuary wish you a blessed Christmas.